Undergraduate Student Electives

We cannot arrange for an observership/internship, these must be arranged with the individual hospital – you need to contact the specific Hospital’s Medical Affairs Office.

In psychiatry we need time to set up an elective as we need to check schedules of physicians in the area(s) of interest(s) you have listed. The more areas of interests (child, forensics, geriatric, adult, CL, etc.) you provide the more physicians can be asked. There are 4 possible sites (CHEO, TOH-Civic Campus, TOH-General Campus, The Royal) where your elective could take place.

Specific for uOttawa MS1 and MS2 electives, we need the following information.

  1. How many hours you are looking to cover.
  2. Dates and times you can physically meet your preceptor at his/her site.
Adult Psychiatry

Elective: Introduction to Dual Diagnosis and Neuro-developmental Disorders (Community Mental Health Program)


  • The focus of this elective placement will be to get a basic knowledge of the common mental illnesses and Intellectual disability.
  • The student will get to sit in with outpatient clinics, community multi professional assessments
  • They will be expected to observe functional and behavioural assessments and other discipline assessments with the team.
  • Understanding around Capacity and Mental Health Act Forms use in adults with Intellectual Disability
  • To learn about Interface between Intellectual disability mental health and social welfare issues around housing and finances.
Description: The student will be able to observe assessments around mental health focused on DSM5 , ADHD and ASD spectrum disorders, Functional and Behavioural assessments and Cognitive assessments. There will also be a good opportunity to learn basic psycho pharmacology and physical health related issues in adults with Intellectual disability. The students will also get to learn more about the interface between Intellectual disability and Epilepsy ( both classification and medications). Finally the students will get to do case based discussions, presentations , and Quality assurance and research work depending on interest and time availability.
  • Supervisor(s): Moshieve Febin Edwin MD (primary), Tim Moran MD (secondary)
  • Location: Community Mental Health Program, The Royal (Carlingwood – 2121 Carling, 2nd floor)
  • Duration: as requested by student
  • No. of Students: 2-3 max
  • Available to: students in their last year of clerkship

Elective: Community Rehabilitation Psychiatry

Objectives: To expose students to a multidisciplinary mental health treatment and rehabilitation service provided in the community to a population with psychiatric disabilities and multiple psychosocial challenges. To review with the student psychosocial rehabilitation principles and how the consumer movement has influenced the development of recovery principles in mental health services.

Description: Be aware that this elective is based within the community itself, working very closely within a multidisciplinaty team, and working with under-priviliged clients in varied community settings.

Student will be exposed to a wide range of treatment interventions (both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic), functional assessments, rehabilitation interventions and advocacy work. Student will have the opportunity to participate in skills teaching classes/groups offered to the clients. He/she will be expected to attend and participate in clinical team meetings. Student will have the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of housing situations, community resources and tribunals related to the mental health act or legal system. Student may choose to devote the entire elective period to working with the community team or may divide their time between community-based and hospital-based teams.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr. Chantal Whelan
  • Location: Carlington Assertive Community Treatment Team, Carlington CHS, 900 Merivale Road. Ottawa K1Z 5Z8
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1
  • Available to: 3rd and 4th year

Elective: Acute General Inpatient Psychiatry

Objectives: To provide the student with the opportunity to participate in diagnostic interviewing and in the management of acute psychiatric illnesses. During this rotation, students will manage many disorders including mood disorders, psychotic disorders and personality disorders.

Description: The student will work closely with the junior resident on the team, both being under the immediate supervision of the attending. An evidence-based approach is fundamental. With an average length of stay of 14 days, rapid resolution of symptoms is sought. The student will be encouraged to participate in interviewing patients and to participate actively in diagnostic formulations and treatment plans. In addition to learning about psychopharmacology and ECT, the student will learn some empathic listening skills in order to develop a therapeutic relationship.
  • Supervisor(s): Dr. Veronica McCarthy, Dr. John Moise, Dr Laura Campbell, Dr Eric Mikhail, Dr Irina Lepatadu
  • Location: The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1
  • Available to: 3rd and 4th Year Students

Elective: Emergency Room Psychiatry

Objectives: The medical student will join a team including nursing, social work, residents from various disciplines, and psychiatric staff, in the assessment and management of patients referred to a specialized Emergency Psychiatry service.

Description: The student will be fully integrated into the Psychiatric Emergency service, initially observing patient assessments, but soon moving on to doing patient assessments. Over the four weeks the medical student will improve their interviewing skills, and advance their ability to integrate the information into practical treatment plans. Diagnostic skills will advance also, and there is ample opportunity for supervision by residents and by psychiatric staff. Understanding the Mental Health Act, management of suicidal patients, and Crisis Intervention are examples of areas emphasized in this rotation. There are opportunities to become involved with our Mobile Crisis Team, adding a community focused dimension to the experience.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr. C. Mann, Dr. M. Kaluzienski
  • Location: The Ottawa Hospital (Civic and General campus)
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1
  • Available to: 2nd, 3rd & 4th Year Students
Child Psychiatry

Elective: BN/CL (Behavioural Neurosciences/Consultation Liaison) Mental Health Services, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)


  • Work together with the CL team to provide inpatient and outpatient consultations to youth with medical condition (acute and chronic) presenting with co-morbid mental health difficulties.
  • Follow patients on a short term basis, both as inpatients and as outpatients to become familiar with psychotherapeutic, pharmacologic, and family interventions.
  • To become proficient in the assessment, diagnosis and development of a treatment plan for youth with both medical and mental health problems.
  • To communicate effectively with parents and caregivers about ways to understand, help and support their child by addressing the physical, attachment, behavioral, social and educational needs.
  • To work collaboratively with other team members and with patients and families.
  • To provide clear and timely documentation and communication of diagnostic impressions and recommendations to patients, families and referral source.
  • To become familiar with the mental health community resources, including school supports for children, adolescents, their parents and caregivers.
  • Have opportunities to participate in scholarly teaching  and research opportunities (e.g., producing case reports).

Description: Consultation and Liaison (CL) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

  • Supervisor(s): Dr. Sinthuja Suntharalingam
  • Location: CHEO, Medical and surgical inpatient units and outpatient clinic settings
  • Patient Population: Inpatient and outpatient youth (both M/F; up to 18 years of age) with medical illnesses and acute psychiatric illnesses, requiring interventions for the psychiatric symptoms which have a negative impact on their medical condition(s) and general functioning.
  • Clinical Focus: CL Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist provide evaluation and management of youth with acute psychiatric illnesses with comorbid medical illnesses.
  • Current services include:
  1. Outpatient consultation to referrals received from CHEO subspecialty services including but not limited to Neurology, Hematology/Oncology, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology and other specialized care teams.
  2. Inpatient consultations to medical and surgery floors of CHEO, with focus on diagnostic clarification (or management) of psychiatric concurrent diagnosis, assessment of suicidality, and requests for evaluation of psychotropic medications.
  • Duration: No limitations
  • No. of Students: 2 maximum
  • Teaching: Mostly in the clinical setting in addition to discussion on topic of interest in one to one and/or small group teaching.

Elective: Outpatient Mental Health Services, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), McArthur Site

Description of patient population: Overview of Clinic: We see children and youth referred by their physicians for all manner of mental health issues, including mood and anxiety problems. A typical consultation will involve an assessment over a few visits, followed by follow-up if indicated.

Diagnoses: For a child/youth referred for emotional/behavioral difficulties, they may ultimately receive a wide range of possible diagnoses, including no diagnosis at all; mood/anxiety disorders; autistic spectrum disorders (ASD); ADHD; and lesser known (but common) conditions such as non-verbal learning disorder (NVLD) and regulatory-sensory processing disorders (R-SPD).

Clinical Focus: Consultation and ongoing short-term follow-up if indicated.

Research Focus: See below

Other Professional Interests or activities: Importance of healthy relationships and attachments for mental health, and how modern society tends to disconnect people from one another; mental health literacy initiatives such as www.eMentalHealth.ca website.

  • Supervisor:(s) Dr. Michael Cheng
  • Location: Outpatient Psychiatry, at 311 McArthur Road, Ottawa
  • Duration: 1-2 weeks
  • No of Students: One at a time
  • Available for: Year 3 and Year 4

Elective:Urgent Consultation Clinic


  • To observe & participate in outpatient psychiatric assessments of troubled children and youth.
  • To observe & participate in urgent/crisis assessments of higher risk patients with their caregivers.
  • To observe short term management & follow-up of above patients.
    psychiatric disorders in children and youth.
  • To learn to perform a mental status exam with confidence and to gain a basic understanding of the most common DSM-V
  • Supervisor(s): Dr. Anton Baksh MD FRCPC, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
  • Location: CHEO 6 East office
  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • No. of Students: One at a time
  • Available for: Most of the time except when Clinical Clerks are doing their 1 week Child & Adolescent Psychiatry rotation with me.


Forensic Psychiatry

Family Court Clinic

Objectives:To educate the student in regards to various legislations involving children, including the Children's Law Reform Act (CLRA), Child and Family Service Act (CFSA), and Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA); to educate and inform the student in regards to issues of child abuse, including neglect, incest, physical abuse, juvenile delinquency, etc.; to provide information in regards to sexual behaviours assessments and incest treatment; to teach the student how to do a proper legal report; and to teach the student issues involving court appearances and expert testimony. 

Description: The student would observe court assessments involving children performed by the psychiatrist and other members of the multi-disciplinary team. These would primarily include custody and access cases (Children's Law Reform Act), child welfare assessments (Child and Family Service Act), and young offenders (Youth Criminal Justice Act).

  • Supervisor(s): Dr. Gregory Motayne, Dr. Floyd Wood
  • Location: The Royal (Family Court Clinic)
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students:1
  • Available to: 4th Year Students

Elective name: Forensic Psychiatry

Objectives:To introduce students to the problems of assessing and treating the mentally abnormal offender.

Description: The Forensic Program assesses and treats the mentally abnormal offender on both an in-patient and out-patient basis. All ranges of both offence and psychiatric illness are seen within this program on referral by all levels of court, judges, Crown Attorneys, defence counsel, Federal and Provincial probation, etc. Treatment is offered following assessment where appropriate and reports are prepared for courts and lawyers upon request. The student would be exposed to the assessment and treatment processes, including how to take a proper forensic history and, in addition, would be able to attend at court and detention centres with the supervising psychiatrist. A very basic session would be given in the preparation of reports.

  • Supervisor(s): Dr. various
  • Location: Forensic Program, The Royal
  • No. of Students: 1 student only (CORE students take priority)
  • Available to: 3rd and 4th Year Students

Elective name: Forensic Psychiatry-Brockville

Objectives: To familiarize the medical students with Forensic Psychiatric Practice including assessment, acute care, rehabilitative treatment of individuals with severe mental disorders (including personality disorders) who have come in conflict with law. This elective can be tailored to the student's interest.

MCSCS security clearance is required for this elective.

Description: This elective is best suited for a student who is interested acquiring skills in the assessment and treatment of individuals with major mental disorders who have come in conflict with law. It will provide the student the opportunity to develop skills in the court ordered assessment (fitness, criminal responsibility, capacity, etc) and treatment of acute and chronic mental disorder (with or with co-morbid axis II psychopathology). Students will also be provided the opportunity to acquire basic skills in risk assessment (clinical and actuarial) and familiarization with the provincial and federal mental health legislations.

  • The student would be exposed to the assessment and treatment processes, including how to take a proper forensic history and, in addition, would be able to attend at court and detention centres with the supervising psychiatrist. A very basic session would be given in the preparation of reports. A student can also choose to participate in clinical research projects, as they are available. Areas of interest include risk assessment, dysfunctional anger, criminal responsibility and psychopathy, mental disorder and violent behavior.
  • Supervisor(s): Dr. AG Ahmed; Dr. Gulati, Dr. Cameron
  • Location: Brockville Mental Health Centre, Brockville, Ontario
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students: 1 (a vehicle is an asset for this elective)
  • Available to: 3rd & 4th Year Students

Elective name: Sexual Behaviours Clinic

Objectives:To provide an introduction into state of the art assessment and treatment of criminal and non-criminal paraphilic sexual disorders.

Description:The SBC at the Royal Ottawa Hospital is primarily an out-patient clinic that conducts approximately 250 new assessments per year on men and women with problematic sexual behaviors and interests. Referrals come from family doctors, medical specialists, probation and parole, Crown and Defense attorneys, the Courts, and increasingly, via self-referral. In addition to individual psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, the SBC also runs several groups for sex offenders; men with problematic sexual behaviors with and without and intellectual disability; and for spouses of sex offenders. Assessment and therapy is available in French or English languages. The SBC regularly hosts international experts in Forensic psychiatry who come to the clinic to learn the latest techniques and to share their experiences.

Students may expect to participate in a multidisciplinary team providing evidence-based, research driven diagnosis and management of out-patients with a variety of sexual problems. Those students with an interest in research, neuropsychiatry, intellectual disability, and/or forensic psychiatry are especially encouraged to apply. Those who are able to converse with patients in the English and/or French languages are equally welcome. Due to the high profile nature of many of the patients seen in the SBC, students may also expect to learn about the criminal justice system and ways of dealing with the media. Work on the assessment and treat of so-called "dangerous" and "long-term" offenders can also be arranged. 

  • Supervisor(s): Dr. P. Fedoroff, Dr. D. Bourget (Bilingual and French speaking only)
  • Location: Forensic Program, The Royal
  • Duration: 1-4 Weeks
  • No. of Students:1
  • Available to: 3rd & 4th Year Students
Geriatric Psychiatry

Geriatric Psychiatry

Objectives: Under the close supervision, 1) To learn how to diagnose, investigate and manage common psychiatric disorders in the elderly, 2) To improve interview skills, 3) To work collaboratively with multidisciplinary team members.

Description: Under the supervision of the staff psychiatrist, the student will interview geriatric patients under his/her care and follow them throughout their rotation, participating actively in treatment decisions and completing necessary documentation (e.g. admission note, consultation note, follow up note, discharge note) in a timely manner. The student will be encouraged to liaise with patient's family/care givers when appropriate. The student will be asked to participate in a multidisciplinary team meeting and work collaboratively with other team members. Depending on availability, the student may have an opportunity to participate in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

  • Setting: One of combination of the following settings - Inpatient, Outpatient, Day hospital or Long-term care home depending on the availability
  • Supervisor(s): One of more of geriatric psychiatrists at ROMHC
  • Location: Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
  • Duration: 1-2 Weeks
  • No. of Students:1
  • Available to: 3rd and 4th year medical students
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